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Written Parliamentary Questions 27th October 2005

National Grid
Q: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what consultation has occurred with (a) the general public and (b) industry about the reduction in voltage on the national grid that may be required in the event of a one in 50 cold winter. (John Hemming)

A: My officials are investigating the impacts of voltage reduction measures undertaken in other countries in the past year. We will share the findings with industry and other interested parties.(Malcolm Wicks, Energy Minister)

Power Cuts
Q: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment has been made of the possible implications for the operation of medical equipment of a cut in mains voltage during a one in 50 cold winter.(John Hemming)

A: Medical equipment is designed to operate at the standard supply voltage and within the statutory limit for the UK of plus 10 per cent. minus 6 per cent.
In NHS hospitals, where the supply voltage falls to a value likely to give rise to danger or equipment failure, then automatic systems disconnect the network supply and revert to a stand-by generator supply until the network is restored to a sustained normal value. (Malcolm Wicks, Energy Minister)

Tax Statistics
Q: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many taxpayers in each parliamentary constituency paid the (a) starting, (b) basic and (c) higher rate of tax in the last year for which figures are available. (John Hemming)

A: The latest information on the estimated number of income taxpayers and their mean and median total income by constituency, is shown in table 3.15 "Total Income by Parliamentary Constituency" on the HM Revenue and Customs internet website http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/income_distribution/table-3–15.xls.

The income tax information is based upon the 2002–03 Survey of Personal Incomes (SPI).

A breakdown of income taxpayers by tax bands is not available because the sample sizes for marginal rates at constituency level are very small and demonstrate a large variability year on year. (Dawn Primarolo, Paymaster general)

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